This week we speak exclusively to Leteesha Flore of SCS Group, who tells us about how the got to the role of project engineer and what she loves about the job with a company that provides a range of engineering services to the construction industry.
What does your role involve?
It includes working independently and alongside a project manager, to help with the delivery of projects and meet our customers’ expectations, all the way from design to installation and commissioning. Some of my daily tasks include speaking with our suppliers to get a quote for equipment, liaising with our installers on site to approve their work, and helping our clients with any questions that have.
Which are the elements of your job that you enjoy the most?
The part of my job I enjoy the most is being able to see behind the scenes of construction and going on site. I like looking around and seeing all the pieces fit together. As SCS Group is a specialist company, when I see works that aren’t related to us I like to ask questions about how things work and how that person got into what they do.
What education path has brought you here?
I had the normal education path of going to primary and secondary school and then moving to college to do my A-levels. After this point most people would go off to university, but I was never really interested in going to uni full time, hence, why I started applying for a higher apprenticeship.
With the jobs you were offered, what drew you to SCS Group?
All the apprenticeships I had applied for were very similar in job title, however, what made me pick SCS Group over other offers was that it was a growing business and I would get the opportunity to go on site rather than sit behind a desk every day.
Have you been surprised by the responsibilities and range of experience that you’ve had since joining?
Yes. The reason for this was because I wasn’t aware of all the different roles within the construction industry. Before starting here, I had never had any experience with finances and all the processes that take place in order for a job to start and finish. For example, tendering and budgeting.
Were you inspired by the potential of the construction industry early, and how did you first learn about it?
Growing up in Plaistow, I have seen the London skyline change dramatically. Plaistow is only down the road from Stratford, so when the London 2012 Olympics took place it went from a large industrial estate to what we all know as the famous Olympic Park and village, with Westfield just on its doorstep. The regeneration of Stratford transformed it from an area with a bad reputation to a desirable area to live in and an attraction for tourists. This is what struck my curiosity for the world of construction. My curiosity made me start asking questions about the industry and conveniently, at the time, my brother was a building services engineer. I heard about what happens and decided to pursue a career in construction.
Was this option suggested or disliked by family or careers advisers?
Taking this path was never really suggested to me, it just sort of happened. I noticed whenever I mentioned that this was the industry I wanted go into with my teachers they kind of warned me about how male-dominated the industry was, which never phased me, but seemed to be a common topic discussed. My family and friends encouraged me to continue down this road and supported my decision, making sure that I didn’t focus on being a minority, but instead focusing on my professional development and doing what interests me.
In a male-dominated industry, what can be done to attract more diversity to the workforce?
As someone who didn’t hear about opportunities and roles within this industry, I think the best way to attract more diversity is to just make more people aware. This can be done through school trips, careers day events, workshops and much more.
If someone young likes the idea of working in construction, what’s the best way for them to start?
In my opinion, doing an apprenticeship is the best way, as it is a very practical industry and you’ll never know if you like it sitting behind a desk. Not only that, you’ll still be getting the academic knowledge at the same time as getting the work experience. In addition, when you do an apprenticeship you meet so many people and can hear about their experiences and learn from it.
See an SCS Group video profile of Leteesha here: